Category Archives: Music I’m Listening To

Classic albums reissued on high-quality vinyl

Regular readers will be aware that I write about modern jazz, much on CD, that has found its way into my music collection. Delivering a point of view on the music is my goal and I don’t worry too much that I am not normally writing about an early pressing on vinyl.

That’s not to suggest that I don’t appreciate a great vinyl copy of a set and there are some classics that I know I will love and thus will seek to obtain. Via the excellent London Jazz Collector site I learned of high quality modern pressings of classic albums and what follows is a reply from me on that site as part of a huge body of correspondence about modern reissues and obtaining sonically satisfying copies of hard to obtain originals without paying high prices.

My first order from Music Matters arrived from California, mid-week. The service was excellent and I’m delighted with my new pristine 33 1/3 copies of Blue Train and Cool Struttin’. They sound superb on my upgraded system and I intend to buy more of their reissues. Having attended a shootout between an Analogue productions and white label pressing of Brilliant Corners last weekend, I can now appreciate that the treble on some original pressings of some discs may sound more ‘brittle’ and that some of the low end bass may be compressed or absent. I am perhaps fortunate to prefer the fuller sound of the modern re-masters over the authenticity of a shrill original, where that is the case (but I know I may be waving a red rag amongst some of the bulls here).

In relation to collecting music to play, rather than collecting objects of value, simply to own, the MM reissues offer me an ideal upgrade path. If a recording is not available other than in a less sonically pleasing version, I will obtain that copy and hope, perhaps, to upgrade in the future unless something else uses up my disposable money. Back in the olden days in the North of England, the only way to get hold of some great Northern Soul singles was to buy ‘pressings’ (essentially greatly inferior bootleg copies of originals). I’ve still got quite a few and although I know they are not quite the real thing, I still treasure them but have no desire to upgrade. In the case of some Jazz reissues we get the dual benefit of great sound, packaged with great care at a fraction of the probable cost of a scratchy dog-earred copy of early pressing obtained via the collectors market.

But each to their own path, provided it actually involves listening to and engaging with the music.

I’m aware that some settle for nothing less than original first pressings, often preferably in mono. However, their pockets are likely to be far better lined than my own. For the time being it will be MM and similar pressings for me when I’m looking for a vinyl edition.

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One Year Old: downwithit.info

This website is now one year old.

The first posting on downwithit.info was published on 19 September 2014.

In the last year the site has been visited 4097 times by visitors from 67 countries. 1867 visits have been from UK web addresses, followed by 1070 hits from US visitors. 99 visits have been made from Brazil, while there has only been 1 visit from each of New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan and nobody has looked in from Jamaica or Iceland yet!

39 albums have been reviewed and these have included 6 newly released sets by artists who are currently active.

15 live gigs have been reported on (with a couple of Pharoah Sanders US gigs that I couldn’t get to also being mentioned).

The most rewarding strands involved finding out more about Freddie Roach and starting to write about current live and recorded music. I’ve particularly enjoyed gigs at East Side Jazz Club, where I’ve seen some superb musicianship from world-class performers and it has been great that Steve Williamson has made a very welcome re-appearance on live stages.

Bringing things right up to date, last week the first meeting of Macc Record Club took place and you can read about this excellent fresh initiative here.

Over the next year I intend to continue as before and I hope you all continue to visit.

Comments are very welcome and the one surprise is that there have been very few- so dont’t be shy. I’m sure some of what I write about provokes a reaction- so please feel free to react.

Onward to the autumn and winter of 2014.

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What I’m Listening to: Week commencing 18 August 2014.

Monday 18 August 2014
Back on my bus and tube commute and another listen to Grant Green’s Matador (Blue Note. Recorded May 20 1965- released 1979).
Returning home there was more time for:
Cannonball Adderley Sextet. Nippon Soul (Riverside. 1963).

Tuesday 19 August 2014
Yusef Lateef. Jazz Mood (Savoy. 1957)
. Which I have previously written about here.
Charles Mingus. The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady (Impulse. 1963). Through the headies.
John Coltrane. Live At The Village Vanguard: The Master Takes(Impulse. 1998- recorded 1961).

Wednesday 20 August 2014
Excited by next month’s contemporary jazz album- ordered 5 minutes ago. What is it? That would be telling but it is by a hero recorded live. Can’t wait to tell you about it in early September!
At home it’s another visit to the brilliance of John Coltrane. Live At The Village Vanguard: The Master Takes(Impulse. 1998- recorded 1961).

Thursday 21 August 2014
Archie Shepp & Dollar Brand: Duet. (Denon 1980).

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What I’m Listening to: Week commencing 11 August 2014.

Saw some great live music- Derek Nash’s Acoustic Quartet at Bexley Jazz Club on Monday 11 August. Nash plays in a range of jazz styles and this was perhaps his most mainstream that I’ve seen so far- but he turned in a typically exhuberent performance and was ably accompanied by a stellar line-up of Alec Dankworth (bass). Dave Newton (electric piano) and Sebastiaan De Krom (drums).

On the hi-fi, after a bit of a struggle with #One by Black Top I went back to Miles Davis Live In Person At The Black Hawk (Columbia. 1961).

I took delivery of Brilliant Corners. Thelonious Monk (Riverside. 1957). I’m also struggling with this a little but I will persevere. Bus and tube journeys into work this week have been made more bearable by listening to an old staple: Grant Green’s Matador (Blue Note. Recorded May 20 1965- released 1979).

Sunday 17 August 2014
Cannonball Adderley Sextet. Nippon Soul (Riverside. 1963)

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What I’m Listening to: Week commencing 24 July 2014.

Thursday 24 July 2014
Went to see some live jazz (Derek Nash’s Protect The Beat) which you can read about here

Friday 25 July 2014

Listening to a forthcoming review album, which I hope to tell you about later this weekend.

Saturday 26 July 2014
At about 4pm I’d done all most of the weekend chores and it was a bit ‘Should I, shouldn’t I pop down to my local s/h record store? The result was: Activity 2 Passivity 0. When I got there no less than two rubies shone amidst the dust and eight English pounds released the following two CDs to my custody. I’m ‘Double well ‘appy’ as they say in these parts.
Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Himself (Riverside. 1957)
John Coltrane: One Down, One Up- Live At The Half Note (Impulse. 1965)
And..I’m still getting my head around the next review as I tap this out.
Later, playing a selection of tracks before settling down with one of Jimmy Smith’s lesser known:-
Jimmy Smith: Six Views of The Blues (Blue Note. Recorded 1958; released 1999)

Sunday 27 July 2014
My secret CD was
Dylan Howe: Subterranean (Motorik. 2014). You can read what I thought about it here

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What I’m Listening to: Week commencing 17 July 2014.

Saturday 19 July 2014
I’ve not listened to much recorded music so far this week.
London Jazz Collector has had a look at Jackie McLean’s Swing, Swang Singin’ set (Blue Note. 1962) and I played through my copy a couple of times so that I could add a comment to his blog here.

Tuesday 22 July 2014
Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Music (Riverside. 1957)

Joe Henderson: Inner Urge (Blue Note. 1965)

Wednesday 23 July 2014
Archie Shepp: Fire Music (Impulse. 1965)

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What I’m Listening to: Week commencing 10 July 2014.

What am I actually listening to? In an attempt to maintain a list of the music I’m playing, I will be trying to keep a record of jazz that I am playing here at downwithit.info. As this is an opportunity for me to switch off and enjoy, I probably won’t offer too much by way of comment or appreciation in these posts. Nor will I list non-relevant plays by artists playing other styles of music.

A very quiet week so far.

Thursday and Friday 10 & 11 July 2014
Listening to the forthcoming contemporary sets up for review- which will be revealed when I have fully familiarised myself with them (one will be looked at in August). Regular readers may recall that I am writing about at least one new release each month, with a view to ensuring that downwithit.info doesn’t become a mausoleum of old recordings.

Looking further ahead, Abdullah Ibrahim plays the Royal Festival Hall as part of The London Jazz Festival in November and I’ve bought tickets (selling fast).

Saturday 12 July 2014
Late night listen to:-
Archie Shepp & Dollar Brand: Duet. (Denon 1980).
John Coltrane: Coltrane Plays The Blues (Atlantic. 1962).

Tuesday 15 July 2014
Yusef Lateef ‎– Psychicemotus. (Impulse. 1965).

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color. (Atlantic. 1975).

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What I’m Listening to: Week commencing 3 July 2014.

What am I actually listening to? In an attempt to maintain a list of the music I’m playing, I will be trying to keep a record of jazz that I am playing here at downwithit.info. As this is an opportunity for me to switch off and enjoy, I probably won’t offer too much by way of comment or appreciation in these posts. Nor will I list non-relevant plays by artists playing other styles of music.

Thursday 3 July 2014
John Coltrane: Live at The Village Vanguard. The Master Takes (Impulse 1961).

Harold Vick: Steppin’ Out (Blue Note1963).

Saturday 5 July 2014
Archie Shepp & Dollar Brand: Duet. (Denon 1980).

Harold Vick: Steppin’ Out (as above).

Listening time severely reduced over the weekend due to World Cup football and gardening duties.

Sunday 6 July 2014
Harold Vick: Steppin’ Out (as above).
Archie Shepp & Dollar Brand: Duet. (as above).

Monday 7 July 2014
Archie Shepp & Dollar Brand: Duet. (as above).
Cannonball Adderley Quintet: Live In Chicago. (Mercury 1957).
Grant Green: Live At The Lighthouse. (Blue Note. 1972)

Tuesday 8 July 2014
Jimmy McGriff. Blues For Mr Jimmy (Orig. Sue. 1965- mine Stateside CD)
The Horace Silver Quintet. Horace-Scope. (Blue Note. 1960).

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What I’m Listening to: Week commencing 26 June 2014.

What am I actually listening to? In an attempt to capture a list of the music I’m playing, I will be trying to keep a record of jazz that I am playing here at downwithit.info. As this is an opportunity for me to switch off and enjoy, I probably won’t offer too much by way of comment or appreciation in these posts. Nor will I list non-relevant plays by artists such as The Clash, Frank Wilson or The Sleaford Mods etc.

Off we go then! Some sets have previously appeared on this blog, touch or click on the red linking text to read more.

Thursday 26 June
John Coltrane: Live at The Village Vanguard. The Master Takes (Impulse 1961). Visuals courtesy South Korea (0) v Belgium (1) in The World Cup (Association Football, as they say, or ‘da match’, as we say).

Friday 27 June
Yusef Lateef: Jazz Mood (Savoy 1957). No World Cup to watch tonight.
Clark Terry: It’s What’s Happenin’ (Impulse 1967) Featuring Varitone trumpet and therefore not for the purist.
Paul Chambers: Bass On Top (Blue Note 1957)
Rip Rap: Snow Blue Night (Rip Rap 2012)

Saturday 28 June
Elvin Jones: Heavy Sounds (Impulse 1968)

Sunday 29 June
Grant Green: Iron City (Cobblestone 1972)

Monday 30 June
Miles Davis Saturday a Night at The Blackhawk (Complete CD edition). (Original release Colombia 1961) To accompany the second half of tonight’s second match: Germany v Algeria
Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Music (Riverside 1957). Half-time of extra time. C’mon Algeria, you can beat these! Or, sadly not!

Wednesday 2 July
Thelonious Monk: Monks Music (as above).
Yusef Lateef: The Dreamer (Savoy 1959).
Sonny Rollins: Alfie (Impulse 1966).

Miles Davis: Saturday Night In Person At The Blackhawk(as above).
Jimmy Smith: Six Views of The Blues (Blue Note 1999- Recorded 1958)
Archie Shepp & Horace Parlan: Trouble In Mind (Steeplechase 1980).
John Coltrane: Coltrane Plays The Blues (Atlantic 1962).

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